With new smartphones and tablets being released every year, it’s easy to accumulate a collection of outdated devices. Rather than letting them gather dust, why not repurpose them for new uses? Repurposing your old devices not only reduces e-waste but can also save you money on purchasing new gadgets for specific tasks.
- Use Your Old Smartphone/Tablet as a Security Camera – One of the most popular ways to repurpose old smartphones and tablets is by turning them into security cameras. Apps like Alfred and Manything allow you to set up your old device as a remote camera that you can access from your current smartphone or tablet. Simply install the app on both devices, place your old device in the desired location, and use your current device to view the live stream. You can use this setup to keep an eye on your home, office, or even your pets when you’re away.
- Turn Your Old Device into a Dedicated Music Player – If you have a collection of old smartphones or tablets lying around, you can repurpose them as dedicated music players. Install your favorite music streaming app or transfer your music library to the device, and use it to listen to music at home or on the go. You can also connect the device to a speaker system or use it as a portable Bluetooth speaker.
- Use Your Old Device as a Digital Photo Frame – Another way to repurpose old smartphones and tablets is by turning them into digital photo frames. Apps like Dayframe and Photo Slides allow you to display your favorite photos on your old device, turning it into a digital picture frame. You can even set the device to display a slideshow of your photos, adding some variety to your home decor.
- Repurpose Your Old Device as a Universal Remote Control – Many smartphones and tablets have built-in infrared (IR) blasters that can be used as universal remote controls for your TV, cable box, and other home entertainment devices. Apps like Peel Smart Remote and AnyMote allow you to use your old device as a remote control, so you don’t have to juggle multiple remotes.
- Use Your Old Device as a Dedicated E-Reader – If you’re an avid reader, you can repurpose your old device as a dedicated e-reader. Install your favorite e-book app like Kindle, Nook, or Kobo, and use your old device to read your favorite books. You can also adjust the font size and brightness to make reading more comfortable.
- Turn Your Old Device into a Dedicated Gaming Console – If you love playing games, you can repurpose your old smartphone or tablet as a dedicated gaming console. Install your favorite games, connect a Bluetooth controller, and use your old device to play games on the go or at home. You can even use your old device to stream games from your PC using apps like Moonlight and Steam Link.
- Use Your Old Device as a Dedicated GPS Navigator – If you frequently travel to new places, you can repurpose your old smartphone or tablet as a dedicated GPS navigator. Install a GPS navigation app like Google Maps or Waze, and use your old device to get directions on the go. You can also mount the device on your car dashboard for easy access.
- Turn Your Old Device into a Smart Home Controller – If you have a smart home setup, you can repurpose your old device as a smart home controller. Apps like SmartThings and Wink allow you to control your smart home devices using your old smartphone or tablet. You can use this setup to turn on/off lights, adjust the temperature, and even lock your doors.
Useful Websites for Repurposing Your Old Devices
- XDA – XDA is a community of Android enthusiasts, developers, and users that offers tutorials, guides, and forums for repurposing old Android devices. They provide detailed instructions on how to root your device, install custom ROMs, and modify your device’s software to suit your specific needs. If you’re comfortable with tinkering with your device’s software, XDA is an excellent resource for repurposing your old Android device.
- iFixit – iFixit is a website that offers repair guides, teardowns, and troubleshooting tips for a variety of electronic devices, including smartphones and tablets. Their guides offer step-by-step instructions for repairing and upgrading your old device, which can be useful if you want to repurpose your device but need to fix it first. iFixit also offers tools and parts for DIY repairs.
- GreenCitizen – GreenCitizen is a website that offers e-waste recycling services and also provides resources for repurposing old electronics. They offer tips and guides for repurposing old devices, as well as information on how to recycle them properly when you’re ready to dispose of them. GreenCitizen also hosts events where you can drop off your old electronics for recycling or repurposing.
- Gazelle – Gazelle is a website that buys and sells used electronics, including smartphones and tablets. If you’re looking to upgrade to a newer device, you can sell your old device to Gazelle and use the money to purchase a new one. They also offer certified pre-owned devices that have been thoroughly inspected and refurbished, which can be a more affordable option than buying a brand new device.
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